Monday, June 29, 2009

Apple Store Experience

I recently had to take my iPhone in for servicing or replacement and had one heck of a time! I wanted to tell my story and see if anyone has had similar problems. Sorry if it's poorly written, thats just my lack of writing skills! Oh, and I took out the name of the Mac Genius to protect his identity (see, I'm a nice guy).

*Update* - This was at the Pentagon City Apple Store


Dear Apple,

I usually never have a problem with Apple. I'm a big Mac user that has proudly helped convert two very stubborn parents and whenever I get a chance to talk Mac, I dive right in. I also think that they have usually superb customer service but this most recent trip was a real shocker.

I am currently on my third iPhone 3G. The first one got replaced after the vibrate switch stopped working. The second one (the one that this story is about) had an issue where the backlight would go all the way off instead of just super low.

Thinking that it was maybe a bug that 3.0 would fix, I just waited it out. But when I updated I still had the problem and decided to go into the Apple Store and have a Genius look at it.

******, the same Genius that just months before replaced my first phone was now going to be dealing with my second phone. He didn't seem like he recognized me and he probably sees tons of people everyday so I wasn't hurt.

I explain my problem to him.

"The backlight goes to off when just 1/4 from the lowest setting. Every other iPhone goes to a super dim mode but mine goes to completely off."

To my friends and myself this is a legit problem that we knew with 100% certainty that Apple would fix or replace.

Well, ****** didn't seem to see the problem. He says that it's his job to see a problem and he doesn't see one here. After explaining further he decides to go to the back and ask some other people about it.

Waiting just about 5-10 minutes he returns with two iPhones and says they don't see a problem either. He sets the two iPhones down on the counter and says, "Look, yours is actually brighter, and it has better range."

I told him that it was only brighter because the one he was comparing it to had a plastic film on it. Anything, no matter how clear it really is will diffuse the light at least somewhat. And I explained the "range" he talked about... yeah, it obviously has better "range" if the light goes off and the rest don't! That's getting technical.

Oh, and I'm not an idiot. I've worked in customer service and I realize that he was only trying to get me excited about it and walk off thinking my phone was now better than the rest. No dice.

I forgot to mention that this entire time he has not been giving me any eye contact whatsoever. I kept leaning on the counter trying to meet our eyeline and at the same time making sure that my stance and body language wasn't defensive or aggressive. I'm very aware of these things.

With the two phones still on the counter I asked him to take them in the back again and just slide the backlight all the way off while in the dark and compare the phones. He said "that's not necessary." I then asked him to just cup his hands around my iPhone to see the backlight go out and he once again said "that's not necessary." But isn't that what customer service is all about? Going above the necessary! It would have only taken a few seconds and would have made me, the customer, feel like he was at least trying to help.

I told him that I was in the store the other day and showed a fellow Apple employee who said that it was indeed a problem and asked if I could bring him over to "testify" but of course his response was "that's not necessary." He once again made me feel as if I was losing my mind! It's like I saw a ghost and no one would believe me!

He then had me give scenarios as to when I might need this functionality. I shouldn't have to explain things that the designer of the device came up with! But I did give him examples.

He also asked if the phone made calls, alluding to the fact that if it doesn't hurt the functionality then it's 100% fine. I told him that I didn't buy the iPhone to just make calls, the little kids "Firefly" phone that has a button for Mommy, Daddy, and Police just makes calls, but I bought the iPhone to play games, watch videos, surf the Internet, control my computers remotely, and everything else it can do!

Overall I felt as if he was just patronizing me and saying that he didn't see a problem and if this happened to him he wouldn't have brought the phone in. That makes me feel like an idiot.

In the end I got a new phone, but to be honest, I don't feel like I won. I'm not trying to pull ****** down because maybe he was just having a bad day but in the world of customer service you can't let that affect you.

My biggest problem is that there is an Apple employee that is "specially trained" in customer service and technical know how though he won't look me in the eye or even try to acknowledge my problem.

Oh, and it looks like some other people have had this problem. I searched the forums after (yeah I should have done that first though) and dug up some info. Also, I wish I videotaped it something just to have proof but I have the word of some co-workers I showed if you are interested in asking them.

Apple Forum Thread:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

F.A.S.T. Bait & Switch?

This might just be a glitch but this could be a pretty slick way to get an extra buck out of you!

I've emailed SGN to see what they thought of it and I'm waiting on a reply.

Check out their site:

The game looks pretty good though, and I hear you can play blue tooth peer to peer.

** UPDATE **

No foul play here. Executive Producer Dan Brazelton just commented on my blog and said the following:

"No - no bait and switch. The price and description propagated on Apple's servers separately and imperfectly.

There was actually a time when it was $5 under WHAT'S HOT but $4 under TOP 25.

That's why we try to make price changes at night.

It should be settled now.

Thanks for your interest in our game, and sorry for the confusion.

Dan Brazelton
Executive Producer, SGN"

Thanks Dan!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Music Video Monday

Xbox 360 on 11,200 sq. ft. screen. Wowzers.

Green Twitter Avatars

When I first saw green overlayed Twitter profile pics I thought it was for people promoting "going green" or something but it turns out it was promoting the color of the movement for freedom in Iran.

I usually don't think that these type of things actually produce results. But I do see a chance that peoples green overlays will work.

It will put more eyes on the problem in Iran and more eyes equal more press which should get more pressure on those that can make decisions to do something.

In the same sense (business wise) that eyes = revenue, eyes = change. Though it's not guaranteed. But if enough people change their Twitter profile pics it will get press which will get press about the Iran situation (though there already is a ton of press but more can't hurt).

Does that make sense? Sorry if I'm rambling but my thoughts are kinda clouded but I thought I'd share my input. What do you think about this whole thing?

Oh and find out more about the green overlays here: #IranElection

Ring ring. It's for you.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Video taken on iPhone 3GS

My friend Ian shot some video on his new iPhone 3GS and I thought I would share it. It's pretty dang good! Oh, you record it then upload directly to YouTube. That's killer.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Into the Abyss

I recently got the OTB Abyss. If I were to tell you what they were up front, you probably would think I lost my mind.

This should sum it up:

The OTB Abyss Boot is ideal for use in any rocky or muddy situation, the sole unit also works well in dry conditions. With its superior fit and drainage features, this boot works well in any environment.

These boots were "designed & engineered at the request of the U.S. Navy SEALs."

And no, I didn't pay full price for them. I got them for a killer deal and these things seem totally worth it.

I got them to replace my aging Merrell Chameleons. Well not really replace but just to add to them. I'm not sure how the Abyss would handle cold and my Merrell's have that area covered.


So I had them for just a few weeks now but around one week after I have been using them I decided to give a review of what I noticed. I'll be posting an updated one and with video but this should be good for now.

1 Week Review

- Water from puddles get in. But isn't that the point? So maybe on really rainy days I wear goretex merrells (which don't breathe like these at all). ALTHOUGH, on rainy days I've noticed that they repel water like a mother and it's only when I get into real puddles do I notice some wetness.
- When water does "infiltrate" the boot, it tends to leave fairly quick and when I thought my sock would be soaked I was surprised to find it was nearly dry.
- Very comfortable even compared to sneakers.
- Stylish with jeans and other pants.
- Jogging in them is not out of the question, great flex and movement.
- Sometimes they squeak on stone floors at work.
-Feel bulky only when sitting down and crossing legs but only because it's a boot.
- Very lightweight feeling but still feel as if I can kick a few doors down.

Side Note Observations:
- When worn with dress pants I feel like a PMC (private military contractor), not really the look I was going for.
- When the metro rail goes by (Washington, DC), I feel the air rush through the boots and around my feet. That goes to show the breathability.
- I have worn these everyday and have not noticed any discomfort.

- They may not work with everyday outfits.
- Water gets in if you step in big puddles.

- This review was based on my own findings and observations and is not affiliated with OTB.
- I have not done a full submerge to see how well they drain but since I'm so close to the Potomac maybe I'll try it there.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Thoughts on AT&T

In reference to the iPhone annoncement, ATT is like this:
It's like your in school and the teacher assigned a group and you have a project due in 6 months. Everyone wants to work together but one kid thinks you all should work solo. No one wants to be mean so all decide to work solo and put the pieces together later. When you reconvene, you realize he's the only one who didn't do his part. Thanks ATT, your that kid. Luckily everyone else did well enough that the overall score is a B.

I would start shopping for a new group member.

This is pretty darn accurate.

Friday, June 12, 2009


**I do not endorse this guy in any way. He might be good he might be bad. I didn't research him at all but had to go to his site for something at work and noticed his videos.**

This is only a sample of the different media on his site. His team is doing something well because they are really making sure to use a ton of different types of media as well as different "brands" of the same media, like different video players.

In this case, it's Google Video (thought that's kinda like using VHS these days),, and YouTube. He could/should have also used Seesmic, Flickr, Qik.... That would be awesome.

Doing something like this gets your name and face in tons of places with chances for more exposure. I love it. Once again, I know nothing about this guy and do not endorse him at all.

(don't click, it's just a still)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Tunes Tuesday

This Tunes Tuesday is brought to you by TJ over at I've said it before, I'm not very musically inclined (just check my iPod and you will see all kinds, and I mean all kinds of music) so I turn to him to give me all my music news.

This post he did isn't very recent but that's my fault and it's still interesting so check it out HERE.
Here is an excerpt on the post "And My Love for 60s music Re-Ignites":

"I’ve always loved music from the 60s. As a kid, my mom introduced me to pop music and would play me records from her youth– the Beatles, Neil Young, The Kinks, Sly Stone, Otis Redding, etc. Some I liked better than others, but a lot of it stuck with me.

Blame it on local Oklahoma radio stations, but I eventually got tired of the era as stations played and over played from the 60s cannon. Recently, I’ve spent my time and money following current music, but as the flow of new music tends to slow during the first of the year I decided to hit shuffle on the ol’ iPod classic and see what comes up.

The old stuff, after some time away, sounded so good. I was listening to it with fresh ears and I could even hear direct influences on today’s music in places I didn’t expect. It was great– quite refreshing really. I played these songs around my family. The kids loved them. Kym even loved them. (She was just pleased I wasn’t trying to stuff Animal Collective or TV on the Radio down her throat again).

Here are 10 songs which re-ignited my love for the decade and pretty much started an obsession. I’ve already created a 200 track playlist on my iPod and have created another list of songs I still need. Anyway, take a listen to these ten.

Here’s a bit on each track:
The Zombies – This Will Be Our Year

First off, a great song for the new year. Secondly, the Zombies are one of those amazing bands that actually don’t get played enough on the radio. You can’t go wrong with many of their songs, really, but this one just puts a big ass spring to my step."

Be sure to take the jump to read the rest of his picks. Oh, and follow him on Twitter: @TJClark

Monday, June 08, 2009


Hat tip to Pops.

Music Video Monday

It's 11 minutes long so feel free to jump around. The gamers out there will probably enjoy this more than you normals but its still pretty creative.

Bike to Work Day

Bike to Work Day was a few weeks ago but please tell me you did it! I had a big problem with my chainrings, mostly the middle one actually. I'll explain that in another post. But I got that problem fixed just in time for Bike to Work Day!

I live in Alexandria Virginia and work in downtown Washington DC so it really wasn't too hard to get to work, I just needed help with directions. I did a test ride a week before and got totally lost but for the official day I met up with a friend.

On my way to work I stopped off at Market Square in Old Town Alexandria to get some swag (got some neat little wallets and keychains and stuff, pretty fun!) and meet my buddy.

There was barely anyone out there and it was 6:45 so I was pretty surprised, I thought a ton of people would be crowding the bike path.

Working our way through downtown Washington DC was pretty cool. I love riding through the city.

Here is a pic that a photographer took of me on Bike to Work Day (I stopped and got his email address) and I have some other pics I took oh my phone but can't find it right now. Did you ride and how was it?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Home Internet Speed Test 20090607

Ran speed test from on 20090607 at 11:56pm.

WWDC 2009 Live Blogging

Live event coverage. Tomorrow at 10 AM PST, Apple is going to unveil some pretty neat stuff. I think you know what I'm talking about. My recommendation as to where to get your live blog info?

Best all around:
- MacRumors (unless they get hacked!)

For different perspectives:

A new one I've never tried and will be trying (thanks for the tip Just Another iPhone Blog):

Watching these live blogs is the next best thing to being there. Both update very timely and auto refresh and MacRumors Twitter is especially good if you are away from your computer. I highly recommend you follow them if you are on Twitter.

Scroop & Freds Route

Did a nice little run with my father in law. He has a route that him and my brother in law use to run a few times a week. I loaded up "Map My Ride" (just used it as a run, it works both ways) on my iPhone and decided to map it. I have used my Nike Plus Sport Band for this run before but I did both this time.

We actually don't start in front of the house we walk a few blocks then run to the end of a culdesac and start from there. Check out the map below.

This is the Nike Plus info. I sprinted at the end and had a nice speed burst on the "log"

Monday, June 01, 2009

Multi Update

Here's some stuff I'm excited about:

Halo 3 ODST


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Some interesting things. My family is on Twitter. Oh, and Facebook. I'm telling you, it's no longer safe to surf online.
They're everywhere.

- My brother is on Twitter - @nspetrucci
- My Dad is on Twitter - @mppraise
- My Mom in on Twitter - @calpetrucci

Just waiting on the sis, I'm sure she'll get on board in no time (it's just like Facebook status
updates, its easy!)

Oh, really random but we are getting a T3 (maybe more than one too, not sure) line at work. It's supposed to be screamin' fast. I heard it's like having 28 T1 lines. Yeah, I'd like to do a first though.

Speaking of speed tests, while visiting our parents, the wife drove so I busted out my laptop and did some tethering with my phone. Check out the speeds.

I was happy with the performance. Kinda drains the battery but it was worth it.

I love my Xbox. Really. It can do a lot. Some of us guys discussed Playstation vs Xbox and the general consensus was that Sony has no idea what they are doing. Just sitting on their butts not doing a thing with their console. Xbox however has added Netflix (which is amazing) and has talks of, Facebook, and Hulu. Yeah, big things.

There was an article written in XBN magazine a while ago (not sure of the date) and I like it so I ripped it out of the magazine and kept it. Don't worry Mom, I threw away the magazine.

"Xbox Nation tracks the players in the great console car race of 2003. Drop the
checkered flag...

If game consoles were cars, then the three players in the market would be very different idee. The PlayStation 2 would be a Toyota Camry: It's competent, reliable, the best seller in its class, and bought by everyone who doesn't have the imagination or desire to buy something more interesting. GameCube would be a Subaru Impreza: Made for enthusiasts, it's hardcore, small, fast, and something that appeals to niche tastes.
But what of Xbox? A Cadillac Escalade. Big, powerful, all-American luxury that's recently found it's cutting-edge niche. Without a doubt, the Xbox is tech."

If you're a gamer at all you can relate to that. Isn't that cool?! Oh well, maybe not.

Did you know that I have a year of free Cici's Pizza? Well, it's one buffet a month but how cool is that?! My brother, his girlfriend Michelle, and our friend Dave all camped out a few hours early for the grand opening because they had free buffets for a year for the first 50 customers.

Jenni's painting again, and some really great stuff too. I'm taking pictures of her stuff, but they really don't do it justice. Here's one of her latest works.

I've been using Twitter a lot so if you aren't noticing my updates, head over to because I post a lot more often than I do here. I should post more but I get busy. Sometimes doing real things and sometimes just busy with silly stuff, but busy is busy right? Just bookmark it to get updates or better yet, sign up and follow me for instant updates. It's fun. I think.

I can't think of what else is new at the moment so I'll leave you with all that. Enjoy your week.